Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Most Excellent Book For Serious Bloggers

Newspapers did not create news; news created newspapers.
Edwin Emery & Michael Emery, The Press And America, 5th Edition, p. 6

For all virtual actuarii we attempt at each post to improve. Even though most of us are blessed (or cursed) with a compulsion to push on no matter what, some solid background provides much comfort and density. The major problem today is that an in depth and readable history of mass media is very rare on the ground. But the Oracle of Ottawa was very fortunate Friday last, while on yet another book crawl, to come across utter and absolute gold! It was the book I dreamed about and very nearly sure that there was no such thing to be had at any price. Thank God I was wrong yet again...

Canada Gazette masthead 1868 (still in print...)

I found my very own copy of The Press And America - An Interpretive History Of The Mass Media, FIFTH EDITION! In hardcover no less. It was a very good day indeed. I was in rapture immediately. It starts with the Acta Diurna that was posted regularly in the Roman Forum from 59 B.C. to 222 A.D.and ends with the New Journalism to 1984 A.D. And the writing throughout is very readable, like that of a very old experienced hand.. Now long gone, buried and muzzled by the corporate whores who now rule the universe of type... It is also very tastefully illustrated throughout. And most important to me is that it contains an index entry for my "mentor" and over all inspiration Hunter S. Thompson, the great Doctor.

Wooden hand press, circa 1750

The major reason that this book is so important is that it relates the history of the "Press" in very great detail and explains all the bumps and victories along the way. And you soon realize that if you are posting to a blog regularly, you are part of this very long and important history. What you are doing even if you do not realize it, is that you are carrying on and are part of a very great and responsible duty that a free and stable society simply cannot do without. It all sort of gives purpose and reason to carry on no matter what, doesn't it?

We sort have let things slide a bit, haven't we? Did you know that Russia Today (RT) is closing in on the BBC!?

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